Exercise Your Integrity: Just Say “No”

shutterstock_160677650We recently published an article on how to “Say ‘Yes’ the Right Way” exploring how to balance saying “Yes” while focusing on priorities as an employee. So, we asked ourselves if the same principles apply to upper level management and employers. What are the benefits and downfalls of having a team of “Yes” people? While it may seem ideal, having a team of “Yes” people often also means having a team of people who aren’t keen on saying “No.”

There are two sides to every discussion. For members of management, it is essential to view both sides of every discussion in order to make the right decisions. And, let’s face it. There are some members of management who may overlook the negative aspects of a decision in favor of the potential positive aspects, thus leading to poor decision making. Therefore, it is essential to always have someone willing to play “devil’s advocate.”

Remember that sometimes “No” is the right answer and saying yes to everything has the potential to sink your ship. Forbes published an article warning against becoming the leader who “is isolated from reality, surrounded by a small group of people who deliver the good news and hide the bad” or avoids the truth, rewarding those who always agree (“yes” people) and casting out those who challenge them.

Asserting oneself in opposition to colleagues illustrates integrity and honesty. Therefore, it is important to find and value those on your team who will “tell it like it is.” As Warren Buffet once said “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.” And, according to Forbes, a “suck-up.”

Again, we are not saying that being a “Yes person” is a bad thing. We just want to stress the importance of building a team that is diverse in which every person is an individual. In our article on building Agile Teams, we discussed how agile tribes incorporate various team members or “tribe members” who “possess complementary and overlapping skill sets, which allows for full immersion into shared goals.” The same goes for building management team.

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